Daily Archives: December 31, 2008

Reading 2008

Book #30 – Wandering: Notes And Sketches by Hermann Hesse

This morning, while I was not sleeping, I went to my bookshelf to see if there was anything I could possibly read in a day. And there it was piled between some poetry and William Goldman, a slim volume of Hesse. Considering the mold and watermarks I likely acquired this book from a box outside A Novel Idea in Lincoln. In high school, I read Siddhartha and was enchanted by it. Hesse seemed a good addition to my shelves even if it would be 15 years before I read more of him. Wanderings is comprised of twenty-three watercolor reproductions done by Hesse (alas in black and white) with an accompanying note and often a poem. This work predates Siddhartha by a year or two in his bibliography and you can kind of see the line between them.

It’s a lovely book. I’m intrigued by the interplay between writers and visual arts, though it seems to be a rare thing. And it was nice reading for New Years Eve.

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2008 Book Roundup

I read 30 books, meeting my goal. (Even if some of them were rather slim and for a younger audience than myself.)

Distinct authors: 30
Authors new to me: 13 (same as last year)
Male to Female: 23:7
Rereads: 2
Non-fiction: 9
Poetry: 2.5 (Hesse was half poetry)

I don’t have enough Amazon.com stats to make that worth while overall, but some notables:
Most "complex" book: Passage of Darkness: The Ethnobiology of the Haitian Zombie by Wade Davis with an F-K Index of 15.2 and 26.4 words per sentence on average.
Longest: The Good House by Tananarive Due at 195,522 words.

The good of this year was very good and the bad was very bad.
Tied for my favorite of 2008: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Both of which had come to me highly recommended.

Books acquired in 2008: 27
From PaperbackSwap: 10
Gifts: 3
Gaming: 5
Textbooks: 2

Fork Me.

Edits are done. At the moment, I’ve had two hours of sleep in the last 23 and am fried. I’m fairly convinced my editor has never worked with anyone as incompetent me and that this whole process has been an exercise in futility. That my novel sucks. ‘Course, I believe I’ve heard that by the end of the editing process many writers hate the novel they were working on. Lucinda at the Window is a claustrophobic novel and I feel like I’m going insane after combing through it twice in a month. That’s a sterling recommendation, huh? Pft.

Haven’t decided whether I want to sleep or work on waking up entirely before disc at 11:30. I’m leaning toward a shower, breakfast, and a chair-nap. Sunlight is helping this process.

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Finished this on Sunday:
Book #29 – How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff

The examples in this book are woefully out-dated and How to Lie with Statistics might benefit from a revised and updated edition, but otherwise, this should be required reading. The internet is inundated with the ignorant and/or purposefully deceitful use of statistics. Chock-full, my friends. If I was Oprah-rich, this would be the book I’d give to my friends. Most of what Huff presents was not new to me, but the refresher was good.

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Probably won’t make 30 books read this year. If my own books don’t count.  I’ll do a literary round-up when I’ve caught up on everything else I’ve ignored the last two days.